- Kerala is "prepared with all precautionary measures," government says
- A total of 18 Nipah cases were reported in Kerala last year
- 17 people died of Nipah infection in 2018 in the state
A 23-year-old man, admitted in a private hospital in Kerala's Ernkaulam, is suspected to have been infected with the Nipah virus but a final confirmation is awaited from the National Institute of Virology in Pune, the state government said today.
"We have sent the tests for confirmation to National Institute of Virology. The preliminary tests have shown some peculiar results, but we are waiting for the final results, which are expected before tomorrow morning," Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja told reporters this morning after meeting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The 23-year-old studied in a college in Thodupuzha in Idukki and had stayed in Thrissur recently. The district and medical heads have sprung into action in both Ernankulam and Thrissur districts.
According to Thrissur District Medical Officer, the student was in Thrissur only for four days and had been suffering from fever. There were 16 other students with him and six of them, who came in direct contact with him, are under observation.
The health minister also said the state is "prepared with all precautionary measures, especially because we have trained staff from the last outbreak in 2018".
"We have started tracing all the people who have come in contact with this student, to ensure they monitored, after they are familiarised with the precautionary measures. We have isolation wards ready, just in case of any emergency. There is nothing to panic," KK Shailaja said.
All alerts in affected areas, and in other parts of the State, continue to be monitored and investigated. Kerala's health network is capable of handling any emergencies.— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) June 3, 2019
According to the World Health Organisation, a total of 18 Nipah virus cases were reported in Kerala last year and 17 people died. Fourteen people had died in Kozhikode and three had died in neighbouring Malappuram in May last year.
The first set of deaths were reported on May 19, and since then, over 2,600 contacts were identified and followed up with during the outbreak.
Nipah virus is transmitted from animals to humans) and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly between people. It can cause a range of illnesses from acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis.